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Buddhadharma : Winter 2017
84 Buddhadharma: The PracTiTioner's QuarTerly guo gu 85 storehouse-consciousness—a kind of repository of all residual impressions from the actions of our body, speech, and mind. These impressions become seed-like latent potentials that may mature in the future when the right conditions trigger them. From a Yogacara perspective, these eight constitute the infrastructure of mind and are sustained by the corresponding sense faculties and objects. The sense objects—whatever things “out there” we may expe- rience—are never perceived by primary minds devoid of mental factors, nor are mental factors unaccompanied by primary minds. Yogacara teachings list fifty-one mental states (see sidebar) in a hier- archy of wholesome, unwholesome, and other groupings. At any given moment, these mental factors shape the primary minds and determine our experience. Our faculties, if flawed, also shape our experience. In other words, the primary mind and the mental fac- tors therein, along with the objects and the faculties used to perceive them, all operate in tandem. The primary minds are like the palm of a hand, and the mental factors are like the fingers that grab objects. These two are never separate; they’re interdependent. For example, if a particular wholesome mental factor is present when we engage in meditation, our experience of meditation is likely affected. Likewise, if we are possessed by subtle negative mental factors, such as craving for good results or jealousy of another prac- titioner’s meditative experience, then no matter what we do or how hard we try, no positive experience will result. Therefore, knowing the architecture of our minds, along with the workings of mental factors and our sense faculties, is essential. Clarity is the natural function of cognition through our senses: seeing form, hearing sounds, and understanding concepts. this is the natural way we are wired.